CBD medicinal? Ministry of Health beats retreat


Two weeks after listing CBD as a narcotic-derived medicine, the Ministry of Health beats a retreat and suspends the decree the day before it goes into effect.

CBD. Drug, botanical extract or drug?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural component in Cannabis Sativa L. The PubMed database alone reports 3,403 scientific, peer-reviewed (independently reviewed by experts in the research field) publications devoted to CBD. And scientific literature is unanimous in ruling out the possibility that it may have psychotropic effects. It is not a drug.

CBD-which is a phytocannabinoid-interacts favorably with the endocannabinoid system. Which regulates, through neuromodulation, several vital functions of the human (and animal) organism. (1) It is a botanical extract, like many others (
), with no claim to treat disease. It is not a drug.

CBD medicinal? About-face at the ministry

The Ministry of Health, by decree 1.10.20, had decided to include CBD in a table of ‘active narcotic substances including active substances for pharmaceutical use, of current therapeutic use for human or veterinary use,’ annexed to the Testo Unico Stupefacenti (TUS, Presidential Decree 309/90).

The ideological falsehood-in the premises of the aforementioned decree, where it stated the narcotic nature of cannabidiol-was, however, subject to resipiscence, before forcing us to call in the judiciary. Ministerial bureaucrats have in fact published a new decree, in the Official Gazette 29.10.20, suspending the effectiveness of the previous one (which was scheduled to take effect on Oct. 30.10.20). (2)

Comedy and drama

The justification given in DM 28.10.20 to undo what was written two weeks earlier is comical (understatement). Big Pharma ‘s puppets have acknowledged that the issue ‘needs further technical and scientific investigation.’ As is indeed prescribed by the TUS. (3) Before beating a retreat, they therefore sought the opinions of the National Institute of Health and the Higher Health Council. (4)

The alleged abuse of office against the minister of health for violating the law with harm to hemp supply chain operators was thus prevented. Viva. The drama of the Customs and Monopolies Agency’s directorial determination 13.10.20, which banned the marketing of hemp and hemp derivatives to holders of licenses to sell non-combustion inhalation products (with and without nicotine) to the public, remains to be addressed. (5)

Diffuse myopia

Pharmaceutical lobbies carry on a war against farmers, medicinal laboratories, and companies that process Cannabis Sativa L. Corporations have sensed the value of CBD and other cannabinoids, replicated them in laboratories, and now claim to outlaw natural hemp extracts. Or to arrogate a monopoly on their economic exploitation.

However, politics should express itself in its most authentic function. Instead of following the orders of one faction, they should understand the legitimate interests at stake and balance them, under the auspices of the public good. If CBD is as valuable as it appears, every industry will benefit from it for uses as a food, cosmetic and even pharmaceutical ingredient. Rather, it will be a matter of ensuring its authenticity and quality, in the interest of everyone from farm to fork.

Dario Dongo


(1) Among the many benefits attributed to CBD is its contribution to mitigating anxiety states.
– Skelley JW, Deas CM, Curren Z, Ennis J. (2020). Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2020 Jan-Feb;60(1):253-261. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2019.11.008. Epub 2019 Dec 19. PMID: 31866386
– Masataka N. (2019). Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Front Psychol. 2019 Nov 8;10:2466. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02466
(2) DM 28.10.20. Suspension of the entry into force of the Decree of October 1, 2020, on “Updating of the Tables containing the indication of narcotic and psychotropic substances, referred to in Presidential Decree No. 309 of October 9, 1990, as amended and supplemented. Inclusion in the Table of Medicinal Products, Section B, of compositions for oral administration of cannabidiol obtained from Cannabis extracts.” (20A05955) In OJ General Series 29.10.20 no. 270
(3) Presidential Decree 309/90, Art. 2.1.e
(4) It is not a foregone conclusion, however, that ISS and HSC opinions will address the underlying issue. Namely, the nonnarcotic nature of cannabidiol. It all depends on the subject of the request
(5) Dario Dongo. CBD, the circle tightens. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 19.10.20. https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/cbd-il-cerchio-si-stringe